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Friday, April 11, 2008

Book of a Thousand Days

Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days. This excellent YA novel is based on a little known tale "Maid Maleen" from the Brothers Grimm that I've never read, or have long since forgotten. Lady Saren has refused to marry the man her father has chosen for her and is to be shut in a tower for seven years. Dashti is Saren's new maid and, unaware of the situation, gives her word that she will not leave Saren. The two girls are sealed into the tower with enough food to last for seven years.

Dashti decides to keep a book of thoughts and is initially quite cheerful; Saren is withdrawn and depressed, in spite of Dashti's efforts to cure her with healing songs. It is only through Dashti's efforts and resourcefulness that the two girls survive, but their time in the tower takes a tremendous toll.

This is a story of courage and loyalty, love and magic, evil and adventure. Dashti's character, revealed through her own words as she records events in her book, develops from a girl who is simply cheerful and accepting, to one who decides to survive against all odds and to carry the Lady Saren with her (kicking and screaming if necessary).

Hale manages to tell an exciting tale, develop a charming heroine, and appeal both to youngsters as young as 10 or 12 all the way through to adults.

This is my first book by Hale, but I now understand the high praise she has received from other bloggers. (I first heard about her a couple of years ago when Booklogged read Goose Girl and recommended it, but although I kept Goose Girl and Shannon Hale on my TBR list, I never went any further.) I intend to correct that omission.

Fiction. Fairy Tale/YA. 2007. 305 pages.

14 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the review!

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  2. I can imagine it was a great read! It certainly is on my TBR list :)

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  3. Mmmm, this sounds fabulous. I LOVE fairy tales.

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  4. I can't wait to read this one!

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  5. So glad you liked this one, Jenclair. It's one of my favorite of hers - along with Goose Girl and Princess Academy.

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  6. I am so glad you've joined the Hale praising bandwagon! My wife just got this book for her birthday and really enjoyed it.

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  7. I have Goose Girl in my tbr pile, and this makes me want to push it up the list!

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  8. I have yet to read anything by Hale. But I do have her on Mt. TBR!! Glad you enjoyed it!!

    I haven't heard the story of Maid Marleen either!

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  9. I do recommend Hale based on this book and on all of the recommendations. I'll be looking for Goose Girl, Enna Burning, and more.

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  10. I am really looking forward to reading my first book by Shannon Hale this month. I am really glad you enjoyed this novel.

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  11. Shannon is a stud. Can I call a woman a stud? Well, if not, she is a great writer and a very nice person. I agree that she deserves all of the accolades rained on her.

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  12. I really must read some Shannon Hale soon. I keep reading such good reviews about her books!

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  13. I've had Goose Girl on my TBR list and now have just added this one. Good review!

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  14. This does sound like a good read. I haven't read anything by Hale, yet. But, like you I've heard great things! By the way, I just wanted to let you know that I've moved my blog Booknotes by Lisa (formerly Pfeiffer Booknotes). You can now find me at: www.BooknotesbyLisa.blogspot.com.

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